Angels in the Metro, Sans Escalators

Wheaton’s third escalator has been out of service for months — six months maybe? — and until this week bore a sign saying it would re-open in February 2011.  This week the sign was changed to March 2011.  Any day now!  But really the third escalator isn’t essential, except as a useful backup when one of the other two need maintenance. Metro’s failure to finish the work, though, is yet another symbol of the system’s dysfunction.  Maybe we should just be glad our escalators aren’t collapsing, but that seems like an awfully low bar to clear.

While Metro may be failing on maintenance, at least they are also failing on security.  Consistency! Nice of the Guardian Angels to help, but bad that Metro can’t police itself.

As the system deteriorates, so do the riders. Wheaton’s station is generally graffiti-free but got hit with a bunch about a month ago and two weeks passed before it was cleaned up.  I’ve also noticed an increase in food and drink on the trains, including this morning, when a guy who got on in Glenmont finished his breakfast sandwich on the seat across from me and nonchalantly dropped the wrapper on the floor, then ground it into the carpet with his shoe while sipping his iced latte.  I might have said something, but he wouldn’t have heard it because his iPod was turned up loud enough for the entire car to hear, and for him to hear nothing else.

That’s not the worst food problem, though.  The worst was yesterday afternoon, when someone got on at New York Avenue with fried chicken. Maybe they weren’t eating it on the train, maybe they were transporting it home, but the fried chicken aroma filled the car and lasted all the way to Wheaton, and it nearly killed me, taunting me all “I got fried chiiiiicken and you can’t haaaaave any.” Just cruel.  So that’s the real reason not to bring food on the Metro: not to incite fried chicken riots.  Because the Angels will come down hard on that (and then they will take all the chicken for themselves).

UPDATE: because apparently there is some confusion, I will add that the last paragraph, about the chicken, is not meant to be taken seriously.

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4 responses to “Angels in the Metro, Sans Escalators

  1. I’m sorry, but anyone who interprets the ‘no food and drink’ rule on the Metro as banning the transport of foodstuffs from point of purchase to point of consumption should be banned from all public transportation as a menace to common sense. How do you expect people to shop for groceries in a city? How do you expect them to go to school? How do you expect them to brown bag at work?
    Wrappers and spills are a problem – perhaps proper cleaning would be better than a ban, but the issue is a balance of convenience and expense. However, the transport of food on public transportation is a non-negotiable right of every urban citizen, necessary to the abandonment of other vehicles.

  2. Um…I think you missed the point. That last part was not serious.

  3. I think Ben would be less angry if he had some fried chicken of his own. I know it would brighten up my day.

  4. That’s interesting that the sign at Wheaton says the escalator will be fixed March 2011. On the WMATA website’s “Elevator & Escalator Service Status” page (one of my favorite sites!) they indicate 4/1/11.

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